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Profile of Denise Scheberle
Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

2004 Regents Teaching Excellence Award Recipient

Background and Experience (Selected)

  • Joined the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay faculty in 1992; promoted to full Professor in 2002.
  • Ph.D. in Political Science from Colorado State University .
  • Teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Public and Non-Profit Management, Public Administration, Environmental Law, and American Government.
  • Academic leadership roles focused on improving teaching and learning include: developing the UW-Green Bay Teaching Scholars Program, which provides systematic institutional support for new faculty; instituting the Academic Excellence Symposium, an annual forum recognizing excellence in students; development of an annual teaching conference.
  • Teaching innovations include: in her American Government and Politics course, the development of one of the first class web sites at UW-GB and an elaborate congressional committee simulation allowing for all students in the large class to actively engage with the material; student-led Democracy Dialogues, which increase the civic participation and citizenship of Green Bay students; in her Public and Nonprofit Management course, the development of a service learning component in the course which led students to coordinate a "Steps for Change" walk to raise money to fight disease.
  • Recipient of many teaching awards, including the 1997-98 Founders Association Award for Excellence in Teaching at UW-Green Bay.
  • Selected as the Wisconsin Teaching Scholar for UW-Green Bay in 2003-04, and the Wisconsin Teaching Fellow for 1995-96.  Sponsored by the UW System Office of Professional and Instructional Development, these programs involve competitive, systemwide professional development opportunities focused on teaching and student learning.

In Professor Scheberle's own words:

  • "Most of my classes deal with public policies-areas where thoughtful people disagree.  I try to get my students to think through why they hold the opinions they do.  We talk about informed opinions and where to go for more information.  Then, we go there."
  • "We aim high.  The world is a competitive place.  I expect the very best from students and students respond by setting high goals for themselves. . . . I have used case studies, role-playing, and simulations.  I divide cookies to illustrate how the U.S. Constitution allocates power.  I constantly examine my teaching for more meaningful and memorable ways to meet the learning objectives for each course in a way that reinforces my philosophy of teaching.  This level of engagement involves risk-sometimes I fail students.  More often, I find being creative spawns creativity, interest, and understanding."

In the words of her students:

  • "I first met Denise in her American Government and Politics class, which was an entry-level class of about 250 students.  I was prepared for the class to be typical of most of its size, painfully boring information recital sessions where dozing off and day dreaming are commonplace.  In Denise's class, however, this was not the case.  Denise has an amazing ability to inspire very engaging discussions among her students in very large classes.  Yet she is never partial about the subject matter that is discussed.  In fact, it took me a whole year of probing to determine her party affiliation because she refused to let it affect her portrayal of the issues discussed in class."
    • Nathanael D. Isaacson, Student, UW-Green Bay
  • "Dr. Scheberle is inventive in the classroom, without relying on entertainment to keep students interested.  Whatever the subject or class size, she finds a way to facilitate debate and demonstrate how the material can be applied to issues in everyday life.  She takes advantage of technology when it helps to communicate concepts or improves student accessibility.  She is an expert in participatory exercises, always current on ideas that have been tried throughout the country.  These activities are a mainstay in her classes, even in the large introductory courses, where she somehow modifies the exercise to work in a setting that most of us would consider impossible."
    • Dennis Weidemann, Non-traditional Student, UW-Green Bay

In the words of her colleagues:

  • "Dr. Scheberle's reputation among faculty colleagues is that she excels in every aspect of working with students.  She is known for fostering learning through her use of innovative teaching strategies and techniques.  She has been willing to take risks by using 'cutting- edge' teaching strategies and, in particular, has invested a great deal of time in trying to keep pace with technological innovations that can be used to enhance the student learning process.  Dr. Scheberle also has a reputation for going out of her way to support countless undergraduate and graduate students in their pursuit of independent study and internship projects and serving as a chair and/or member of numerous masters degree thesis committees."
    • Timothy J. Sewall, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs , UW-Green Bay
  • "I would describe [Denise Scheberle] as one of the most dedicated and passionate teachers I have been privileged to encounter in my thirty-two years in the academic world.  I know this because she and I have had countless discussions about faculty development in general and about teaching in particular, and because together we have planned numerous activities designed to enhance and reward quality teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.  I have never had a colleague with whom I have had greater opportunity to discuss the art of teaching."
    • Fergus Hughes, Professor of Human Development and Pyschology, UW-Green Bay

Return to Sept. 7, 2004 news release